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How important is it that your kids know your ex’s extended family?

Posted on July 7th, 2011 by Alley Pezanoski-Browne 1 Comment

Courtesy of timparkinson (via Flickr)

Single moms often need the support of their friends and extended family in order to get by. But what about the extended family of your ex? How important is it that your kids know your ex’s extended family?

A recent, interesting article on asks this very question. They received a letter from a single mom who has gone to great lengths to help her son build a relationship with his father’s family despite his father’s absence and the seeming lack of interest of his paternal grandmother. She’s wondering if she should continue to put in so much effort for so little return. Singlemommyhood asked their readers to weigh in, and here are some of the responses:

“You can’t force relationships. I say let them make some effort and when they do be receptive to it. Your child will get enough love from you and the people you call family.”

“I don’t want to have a relationship with my ex’s extended family but I do want my kids to have a great relationship with them. I leave that for my ex to do and he is in charge of maintaining a relationship with his own family.”

“I’d say it’s time to back off for the sake of heartache and frustration. Mail invitations, pics and even short update letters to keep them up to date but don’t stress about it.”

“I think if your ex is twisted but his family isn’t, then the extended family is good for kids.”

Have you ever been in this situation? How much responsibility rests on the single mom to keep the ex-family-in-law involved in her child’s life?

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One Response

  1. vim says:

    I think that the child should know who these people are, however if they don’t reach out to you don’t pursue an intimate relationship. They could take sides and cause trouble.

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